Everyone recognizes this portrait. It is over 500 years old! Leonardo Da Vinci painted it and it now hangs at the Louvre in Paris. One of the unfortunate aspects of its age is that it’s slowly deteriorating. The humidity, age, and the simple wear and tear, and storage are making this painting slowly disappearing. You can see in the image below that it’s in a special containment spot so that the painting can be preserved even more so that it doesn’t warp. This painting is so famous and so well-known throughout the world, that if this painting were to ever disappear, the artworld would certainly consider this as a travesty and the world would consider this as though it lost something valuable. To make this analogy closer, imagine your favorite song or movie, and for some reason, some company got rid of it. All notions of sounds, images, and words from that favorite movie/song is completely gone. You’d be devastated. Well, that’s what would happen if we got rid of the Mona Lisa. With this in mind, imagine this:
Suppose that we could bring Da Vinci back from the dead. Suppose next that we take him to the Louvre and show him his own painting. Now what if he looks at the painting and he says that he doesn’t like it anymore, and he wants to change it. Or even more so, he wants to destroy it.
Now on the one hand, as I mentioned before, if we got rid of the Mona Lisa, it seems that the world would lose something. On the other hand, when you create something, that thing is yours. If I write a book, then that book is mine. I can do with what I will with the book. If I decide to publish, alter, or even destroy my writings, I have the right to do so.
So with all this, da Vinci wants to go to his painting and alter or even destroy it. Here’s the question: Should we let him?